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Fine Dining Quandary

ellenost Mar 8, 2011 09:02 AM

Okay, here's my quandary: I was very lucky to get a reservation at e by Jose Andres. However, I had already made a reservation at Sage for that night. I also have Guy Savoy and Joel Robuchon scheduled for my trip. Should I cancel Sage, or switch it for either Guy Savoy or Joel Robuchon. Thanks for your advice!

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  1. k
    kagemusha49 RE: ellenost Mar 8, 2011 09:49 AM

    You could just go to the bar at Sage and try one of their appetizers - I thought the oxtail was great. You can also get the foie gras brule - which many people rave about - I tried it and it was nice but frankly prefer my foie gras the old fashioned way. This all assumes that you have any room left to manage an appetizer!

    1 Reply
    1. re: kagemusha49
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      zippyh RE: kagemusha49 Mar 8, 2011 03:00 PM

      I've also read the raves about the foie gras brule and recently tried it. Did not like. Also did not like the beef tartare. I think my wife disliked the brule even more than I.

      I still really like Sage and wouldn't hesitate to return. We just didn't like those two dishes.
      We really enjoyed the crab salad, beet salad (boring but exceptionally good beets), and the egg.

      Funny that we had also ended up rescheduling our Sage meal due to getting e' reservations.

    2. j
      jsa056 RE: ellenost Mar 8, 2011 01:08 PM

      I gotta say, your quandary sound eerily similar to a lot of mine for my extended vacation that's coming up. Not even getting started with my NY dining plans, I had a similar issue for my Vegas stay on the way to NY.

      What I decided was I would just be a glutton. I decided I would keep Robuchon and Picasso, and instead of going to Guy Savoy OR Sage, I'm gonna start at Savoy's Bubbles and Bites Bar, and walk over to Sage to sit at the bar there and sample McClains food as well....

      Maybe that sounds a little ridiculous, but as of right now it's the plan I'm going with to fit 4 great restaurants into 3 nights... and if I like Sage and Savoy a lot, I'll be back on a subsequent trip to Las Vegas.

      8 Replies
      1. re: jsa056
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        raider RE: jsa056 Mar 8, 2011 01:13 PM

        went to both savoy's bubbles and sage for apps last trip. interested to see what you think. i was not impressed with bubbles. sage is awesome. get the sommelier to recommend a beer with whatever you get. the selection is excellent.

        1. re: raider
          j
          jsa056 RE: raider Mar 8, 2011 02:27 PM

          Thanks for the tip about Sage. I'm always a big fan of beer pairings.

          I know I won't get the full Savoy experience at Bubbles and Bites, but I'm hoping to at least see what they have to offer if I ever get around to having the Prestige menu there.

          1. re: jsa056
            k
            kagemusha49 RE: jsa056 Mar 8, 2011 03:00 PM

            They have dogfish head which is unavailable where I live. A surprisingly good American micro-beer. This country is starting to produce excellent microbrews!

        2. re: jsa056
          ellenost RE: jsa056 Mar 8, 2011 01:17 PM

          That is a very creative solution, but I prefer t have a full meal (probably the Prestige menu at Savoy, the 6 course at Robuchon, and (based on the current on-line menu at Sage) the tasting menu at Sage. BTW, FWIW, I wasn't overly impressed with Picasso, so you may wish to drop Picasso altogether and have full meals at both Savoy and Sage. Thanks for your suggestion.

          1. re: ellenost
            c
            csb95 RE: ellenost Mar 8, 2011 01:51 PM

            When is your e reservation? I just got one for the 5:30 seating April 7. I had been planning on L'Atellier if I had not gotten the e reservation.

            I was in Vegas last month, and we ate at Sage. I loved it, but have not been to the other restaurants to compare.

            We just got a wide selection of starters and salads, did not do an entree. Also had drinks and dessert.

            I LOVED the foie gras creme brulee!

            1. re: csb95
              k
              kagemusha49 RE: csb95 Mar 8, 2011 02:58 PM

              Strange I thought the foie gras brule was nice but paled into insignificance compared to the oxtail - I'm clearly in the minority on that one.

              1. re: csb95
                ellenost RE: csb95 Mar 8, 2011 04:57 PM

                I'm going the night before you.

              2. re: ellenost
                j
                jsa056 RE: ellenost Mar 8, 2011 02:22 PM

                Hmmm, yeah, I've read a couple of iffy reviews about Picasso. Unfortunately, that's one meal where it's not my choice. I'll have a few friends in town that day and they selected Picasso. Are there any dishes in particular you would recommend?

                I totally understand wanting to have full meals at all of these restaurants. If I had the time, I'd rather sit down and have the signature menu at each as well.

                I hope you enjoy e, I was very impressed by what they're offering and I'm hoping to go back for another meal before they get too popular with the masses.

            2. b
              brandygirl RE: ellenost Mar 8, 2011 01:50 PM

              I just had dinner at Robuchon this weekend, and it was the best dining experience of my life. From the gold limo, to the bread, cheese, and truffle carts, to the exceptional food and service, it is a restaurant not to be missed.

              3 Replies
              1. re: brandygirl
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                Galaxy Girl RE: brandygirl Mar 8, 2011 05:31 PM

                brandygirl did you do the full 16 or just the 6? From a quantity of food, did you feel overwhelmed?

                1. re: Galaxy Girl
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                  brandygirl RE: Galaxy Girl Mar 10, 2011 12:37 PM

                  I originally planned on the 6-course menu, but they did not have the frog legs that I was dying to try, so instead I ordered the 4-course menu and added a cheese course. It was perfect--in fact, it was so much food, I wound up taking a few of the truffles offered at the end of the meal home because I was so full. The 16-course menu would have been too overwhelming for me--I have found 7 courses is about the maximum I can handle in one meal.

                  1. re: brandygirl
                    g
                    Galaxy Girl RE: brandygirl Mar 10, 2011 12:53 PM

                    Cool, thanks! Good to know for our dining pals, small eaters and not really seasoned "tasking-menu" diners. This should assuage their fears.

              2. uhockey RE: ellenost Mar 8, 2011 03:00 PM

                Why not just skip e and all the gimickry? :-)

                http://uhockey.blogspot.com

                17 Replies
                1. re: uhockey
                  Chris VR RE: uhockey Mar 9, 2011 05:40 AM

                  Did you feel your meal there was just gimmickry? I don't recall seeing a review of a meal there from you... have you been or is this the inevitable Chowhound backlash towards the latest darling of the dining scene? :-)

                  1. re: Chris VR
                    uhockey RE: Chris VR Mar 9, 2011 07:33 AM

                    I've had Andres' food in multiple settings (Zaytinya, Cafe Atlantico, The Bazaar, Jaleo, and China Poblano) - it is NEVER great - save for an egg dish at Bazaar. It is a lot of gimickry and while "good," there is no way any of my previous experiences in his 5 restaurants would lead me to believe he can trump Savoy, Robuchon, or Sage.

                    http://uhockey.blogspot.com

                    1. re: uhockey
                      g
                      Galaxy Girl RE: uhockey Mar 9, 2011 07:42 AM

                      minibar in DC was pretty amazing. Right up there with wd~50, but a step below Alinea, and a small hop above Moto (last dine at Moto was '09, as was minibar). IMHO.

                      1. re: uhockey
                        ellenost RE: uhockey Mar 9, 2011 08:35 AM

                        Tough question, but can you rank in order of preference Savoy, Robuchon and Sage. Thanks :-).

                        1. re: ellenost
                          uhockey RE: ellenost Mar 9, 2011 08:46 AM

                          Like I said in the E-mail, if you've never done any of them:
                          Robuchon > Savoy > Sage.

                          If you've done Savoy before, no need to return as the menu rarely changes here in the states - it is essentially a greatest hits parade (though his greatest hits are out-of-the-park home runs in most cases)

                          http://uhockey.blogspot.com

                          1. re: uhockey
                            ellenost RE: uhockey Mar 9, 2011 10:28 AM

                            Thanks. Since I haven't been to Savoy in almost 15 years, it sounds like I'll keep both Robuchon (to try it again) and Savoy. I'll save Sage for next year when I return to LV with my sister (she probably wouldn't want to go to either Savoy or Robuchon).

                        2. re: uhockey
                          j
                          jsa056 RE: uhockey Mar 9, 2011 01:00 PM

                          I'll just throw in that the service/food at minibar and e is on a whole different level than his other restaurants. Think Ad Hoc vs Per Se.

                          While I thought The Bazaar was quite good, I can't say I felt the same way about Cafe Atlantico, Jaleo, or Zaytinya. All were okay, but I have no need to go back to any of them.

                          I agree that Robuchon (and Keller & Achatz) probably all top Andres on a pure food level. I haven't been to Sage or Savoy (yet... I'll try both by the end of the year) so I can't speak for those places.

                          But what separates e from other great dining experiences is that dining at e is FUN. It's unlike anything else you'll encounter. Yes, dining at Alinea and Per Se was fun (I always have fun eating ridiculously good food), I was treated very well. But dining at e is like eating great food among great friends. You're drinking, joking around, discussing dishes with other diners, Anthony and Stephanie (the two hosts) and even the 3 chefs.

                          Dining this way is not for everyone and Andres' "avant garde" Spanish food isn't for everyone, but I would implore you to give his top end stuff a shot. You might find you like it.

                          1. re: jsa056
                            Chris VR RE: jsa056 Mar 9, 2011 04:05 PM

                            Well said. The experience is a large part of what I see as e's appeal. You're no more than 8 diners, with 2-3 chefs and culinarily trained hosts (must more appropriate than wait staff) eating great food and shooting the breeze about food. It's great fun!

                            1. re: Chris VR
                              uhockey RE: Chris VR Mar 9, 2011 04:55 PM

                              Photo policy still "no?"

                              http://uhockey.blogspot.com

                              1. re: uhockey
                                ellenost RE: uhockey Mar 9, 2011 05:06 PM

                                My confirmation states no video or still cameras and no mobile phones.

                                1. re: ellenost
                                  j
                                  jsa056 RE: ellenost Mar 9, 2011 05:16 PM

                                  Hmmm. That's a shame. They didn't have that in place when I went. They asked me not to use flash, but I try not to unless absolutely necessary anyway, so that wasn't a problem.

                                  I agree with their cancellation policy... but I'm not a fan of this one.

                                  Are you going to bring a camera anyway ellenost? I'm still hoping they won't be as strict as long as you promise not to use flash.... maybe it's just wishful thinking on my part.

                                  1. re: jsa056
                                    Chris VR RE: jsa056 Mar 9, 2011 08:01 PM

                                    They didn't tell us not to, but we also didn't have a confirmation form or credit card hold, so it may be a policy thats evolved. What they did say was along the lines of "the chef would prefer you focus on the food, but if you do take photos, please make them flash-free. But really, just eat."

                                    1. re: jsa056
                                      The Chowhound Team RE: jsa056 Mar 11, 2011 09:33 AM

                                      We've moved a digression about Photography in restaurants to the Not About Food board, at http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/771509

                                    2. re: ellenost
                                      uhockey RE: ellenost Mar 10, 2011 02:06 AM

                                      Well then I DEFINITELY don't like his food enough to follow his rules. :-)

                                      http://uhockey.blogspot.com

                                    3. re: uhockey
                                      r
                                      randomthoughts RE: uhockey Feb 29, 2012 05:02 PM

                                      I just got a confirmation, they must have amended it... no video or mobile phones, but that's all it mentions.

                            2. re: uhockey
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                              LVI RE: uhockey Mar 9, 2011 09:00 AM

                              uhockey, did you not like é ? Curious as I will be going in a little over a week and besides an ok review on Yelp, all reviews have been fairly glowing.

                              1. re: LVI
                                uhockey RE: LVI Mar 9, 2011 09:21 AM

                                See the above response to Chris VR - I've not been to e, but I'd not go out of my way for it either.

                                http://uhockey.blogspot.com

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